Gordon Hayward is now out of his walking boot less than two months after his injury on opening night.
Wearing just a small brace on his left ankle, Hayward was able to walk without an aid at a community event at the Boys & Girls Club of Boston.
"The process is always fluid and can change at any time but, for me, today was the day where I walk around without the boot at all," Hayward told ESPN before giving a motivational speech to a group of teens and playing the video game Destiny 2 with them. "And so I'm going to try to move forward without the boot. Depending on how my foot reacts, how much activity I'm able to do on it without it being sore, I could move back into the boot or I could never look back and never see the boot again.
"I'm just taking it day by day; today has been awesome so far without the boot."
Hayward has graduated from shooting out of a chair to shooting flat-footed in his boot over the past few weeks.
"I think I'm a goal-oriented type of person. So I set my sights on a [short-term] goal and just focus on that until that goal is completed," Hayward said. "I have a great group of people around me; the Celtics' staff has been phenomenal, accommodating to everything that I need. My trainer [Jason Smeathers] is here, my wife [Robyn] at home, everybody is keeping me motivated and making sure that I'm sticking with protocol. It's definitely like a team thing for me. I have a lot of people that are helping me. That makes it easier."
The Celtics have maintained that they don't expect Hayward to return this season.